South Beach Diet – eating the ‘right’ carbs and the ‘right’ fats, you can lose in 2 weeks up to 13 lb, mostly from your tummy.
South Beach diet was originally created for heart patients by a leading American cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston. The main idea of the diet is that eating the ‘right’ carbs and the ‘right’ fats, you can lose in 2 weeks up to 13 lb, mostly from your tummy.
The South Beach Diet follows the same diet principles as other diets based on the Glycaemic Index. Foods with a high glycaemic index cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. As a response, the body will release a large amount of insulin. The blood sugar levels will drop rapidly due to the insulin, and you will feel again hungry, with no energy and craving more carbs. More than this, over time, the body becomes resistant to insulin and when this happens, the organism becomes more effective at storing fat – especially around your middle.
To prevent this from happening, the South Beach Diet recommends you to eat carbs with low glycaemic index, which can provide you a steady supply of energy. Eating this kind of carbs, you will feel full for a longer period of time and you will get fewer carbs cravings.
As for fats, the diet recommends avoiding foods rich in saturates and replacing them with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil and nuts.
The diet has three phases.
The goals of the first phase are the elimination of the cravings and rapid weight loss. During this phase, the diet severely restricts carbohydrates for two weeks. The allowed carbs are those with a low glycaemic index. Among the banned foods are: bread, pastries and any baked goods, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits, some vegetables rich in sugar– such as beets and corn. Beer, wine, or any other kind of alcohol are completely forbidden. The diet plan focuses on low GI vegetables, along with lean meat, eggs, low-fat cheese, some nuts and olive oil. As for dairy, two servings of low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, or buttermilk are allowed during this phase. The saturated fats are swapped for unsaturates.
Foods allowed in the first phase:
- lean meat – turkey, veal, sirloin, tenderloin, fish, skinless chicken breast;
- vegetables – artichokes, asparagus, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, legumes, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini;
- fats – peanut butter, canola oil, olive oil;
- sweets – chocolate powder, cocoa powder (baking type), hard candy, sugar substitute (sugar-free);
- nuts and seeds – peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts;
- seasoning/spices – broth, butter sprays, pepper, anything containing no sugar.
For the second phase, the main target is to slowly lose pounds until you’ve reached your ideal weight. The phase 2 allows you to eat a little bit more low GI carbs, such as fruits, Granary bread, wholegrain cereals and pasta. You should be staying with this phase until you’ve reached your target weight. You can expect a loss of 1-2 lbs a week.
Foods allowed in phase 2 (reintroduced)
- fruits: apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries;
- starches: bagels, muffins, pita (sugar free and whole wheat); bread-multigrain, oat and bran, rye (whole wheat); high-fiber cereals; pasta (whole wheat); green peas; popcorn; potatoes; wild rice-brown;
- vegetables and legumes – including barley; pinto beans; black-eyed peas;
- dairy – milk-light soy, fat-free or 1%; yogurt-light, fruit-flavored, plain, low-fat or fat-free.
Maintain you weight loss for life is the motto of the Phase Three. The stage 3 lasts, of course, a lifetime. You reintroduce a wider variety of foods, but you have to keep an eye on your weight, to keep it steady.
For each phase, there are no limits on portion sizes – you simply eat enough to satisfy your appetite – and you’re encouraged to eat three meals and snacks each day.
Pros to the South Beach Diet
- It promotes healthy eating, recommending low carbs foods and monounsaturated fats.
- You will lose weight and your heart health will be improved.
- Properly followed, the diet results in life-long changes to eating patterns.
- You don’t have to count calories or to measure portions. You just choose foods from certain lists and eat them.
- Clinically developed and tested under medical supervision.
- The first two weeks are really restrictive and may leave you feeling weak.
- During the first two phases, you’ll miss out some vitamins and minerals, because you won’t get too many fruits and vegetables.
- When adding back in carbs, the diet leaves a lot up to the individual, so dieters might end adding too soon too many carbs with higher GI and putting back lost pounds.
- Many of the meals take a great deal of preparation time.
- A lot of the menu ingredients are costly and hard to get.